, May 24, 2024

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Kaddish for Allen Ginsberg's 27th DeathDay

  •   2 min reads
Kaddish for Allen Ginsberg's 27th DeathDay
Jim Forest via Flickr
By Andrew Dickens

Twenty-seven years now, Allen,
since I last saw you in Altus, Arkansas,
waltzing with Garcia Lorca down the aisles
amongst the watermelons
of the Circle M convenience store,
watching you glance slyly at
old Walt Whitman ogling
the check-out boy
at the counter,
apple-cheeked and angel-haired
how did you know he was
Caravaggio's Cecco,
reborn just to grin
winsomely at you
as the Bradford Pears began
dropping their white hankies
to the ground
and Persephone rose once again
from the dead
surprised to see you still here,
with lilacs springing
from your balding head.
Yet, old friend,
you are still as young
and insolent and full of love
as then, when I sat at your feet
in Lawrence, Kansas,
1966 and listened to you
rage against broken piano machines
rusting in eternity
with Peter Orlovsky shaking
his long hair
and the highway still there
O Allen Ginsberg
the hare krishna mantra still there
O Allen Ginsberg
your harmonium gathering dust
still playable
O Allen Ginsberg
and i join you
in burning my draft card
in solemn protest of them
never giving you the
and allowing you
to die in poverty
yet you, too,
are still there
and today I read
"Howl" all the way through
footnote and everything
and it took me
25 minutes and 41 seconds
and you were with me
all that time
wheezing on the harmonium
and decrying against
the genocide in Gaza
with a to-do list
of outrageousness
which I found sweet
and very delicious.

About the Poet:

Andrew Dickens, in his own words

"An old man who majored in English at Kansas University, taught English in Japan, sold investment diamonds in Honolulu, spent six years homeless on the streets of Austin, Texas, San Francisco, and Honolulu with seven months in a radical Christian cult in Honolulu. Ran the Honolulu Marathon in 1980. Been there, done that."

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